The body of Indian law is diverse, complex and ever-changing. Because each tribe has a distinctive culture, tradition, membership, language and land base, personalized legal counsel is crucial. The well-being and livelihood of tribal members depends on their government’s ability to serve them, and legal advisors must share a commitment to serve the best interests of members.
At Husch Blackwell, we understand tribes’ cultural, governmental and economic challenges. Our team has deep experience in every facet of Indian law and offers practical judgment, as well as incisive and innovative thinking. We monitor federal and state legislation, case law and the media daily to advise clients of new trends and issues that may affect them. We help clients clear regulatory and agency hurdles, identify goals, develop action plans, and then implement those plans to achieve tribal objectives.
We advise tribes, tribal businesses, tribal organizations and individuals in the following areas:
Government affairs. Husch Blackwell has proven experience representing tribal clients before federal, state and local governments and agencies, always with the goal of advancing tribal interests and enhancing members’ quality of life.
We advocate vigorously for clients before federal agencies such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). We also effectively lobby elected leaders at all levels on policy issues important to tribes. We are a voice for tribes on matters such as environmental compliance, taxation and land disputes, economic development efforts, rural housing, federal grants, healthcare, education, appropriations, gaming and energy.
We also have strong contacts at congressional committees with jurisdiction relevant to Native American issues, including the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee.
Litigation. The performance-driven litigators on our team have handled claims in administrative, tribal, state, appellate and federal judicial forums, including matters before the Interior Board of Indian Appeals.
Business and commercial transactions. We assist with business entity formation, business transactions, bonds, construction contracts, mergers and acquisitions, securities, commercial loans, public and private financing, and venture capital transactions.
Gaming. Our team advises tribes on all aspects of gaming, from developing new projects to expanding mega-casino enterprises. We work closely with tribes to strategize and then fully realize their gaming opportunities. We advise on day-to-day gaming and compliance issues, gaming expansion, off-reservation opposition and related matters.
Real estate. Our attorneys have secured favorable and unprecedented real estate transactions for tribes, including acquisitions, sales, fee-to-trust land applications (gaming and non-gaming), negotiations, covenants, easements, mineral rights and condemnation.
Tribal governance. Husch Blackwell counsels on enacting and enforcing tribal laws that exercise tribal sovereignty; advance the tribe’s mission, vision and goals; and protect the Nation, its resources and direction for future generations.
Cultural resources and historic preservation. Members of our team are nationally recognized for helping tribes preserve and protect, acquire, gain access to or rehabilitate natural and cultural resources critical to the tribal community. Our attorneys work directly with the national Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and agency offices in all phases of tribal consultation and mitigation of potential adverse effects.